2021 Masters Preview & Predictions
2021 Masters Preview & Predictions
The Masters is back where it belongs, in April. In 2020, the Masters were held in November, which threw everybody’s clock off a bit. Having it back in April is a sign that things are heading in the right direction to normal. Dustin Johnson took the title last year and he has now finished in the top 2 the last two years. Is anyone ready to step up and slow DJ down? I guess you’ll have to keep reading to find out.
Course: Augusta National Golf Club measures 7,475 yards and plays to a par of 72. The putting surfaces are considered the most challenging on tour thanks to the Bentgrass greens. The back nine is extremely tough with water in play on 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16. Many expect the scoring to be much tougher than it was back in November when Johnson won with a -20 under par. Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, SG: Approach, and SG: Around-the-Green are the three most important stats when trying to handicap this course.
The Odds (Courtesy Of BetOnline.ag)
My Top Three Plays
Let’s get started with my top three plays for the tournament. I expect the overall winner to come from one of these picks and then I will give a few players to watch, followed by a few props.
3. Jordan Spieth (+1200): Jordan finally broke a long winless drought with a win at the Texas Open last week. I like him here as he is coming in with momentum, confidence and he has won the masters before (2015). Jordan is not great in SG: Off-The-Tee (151st) but he is 23rd in SG: Approach to the Green and 17th in SG: Around the Green. He is also 44th in SG: Putting and 35th in SG: Tee-To-Green. Spieth checks all the boxes here and he does have four top 10s in seven appearances at ANGC. Spieth would also love to make amends for finishing 46th here in November. It was his worst finish at the Masters.
2. Brooks Koepka (+2500): Brooks is just coming off of Knee Surgery in Mid-Marc but he is ready to go and there is some value on him here. Following a win at the Wastmangement Open in February he was list art +1200 for the Masters and now he is down to +2500. Brooks is 28th in SG: Off-The-Tee, 25th in SG: Approach to the Green, 65th in SG: Around the Green, 7th in SG: Putting, and 16th in SG: Tee-To-Green. Those are all very good rankings for this course. This is also a course he likes to play with three top 11 finishes in the last three years. Back in 2019, he finished 2nd, and last year he had a 7th place finish. At this price, Koepka is a nice play.
1. Bryson Dechambeau (+1100): Bryson has had a good season so far with five top 10 finishes in nine events, including two wins. Granted, he has finished no better than 21st here at the Masters but this will be his year to win it all. A big reason for that is his newfound power. Dechambeau is 1st on tour in driving distance at 320.8 yards, 1st in SG: Off-The-Tee, 15th in SG: Approach to the Green, 43rd in SG: Around the Green, 37th in SG: Putting, and 1st in SG: Tee-To-Green. Incredible numbers and all the right numbers for this course. Look for the Power of Bryson to lead him to victory here.
Players To Watch
You noticed I didn’t have Dustin Johnson in my top three either, huh? He will be in the mix for most of the weekend, but I expect him to fall short. DJ has some solid overall numbers for this course, but it could be his putter that lets him down…. John Rahm’s wife just gave birth to their first child, so he could be on cloud nine for this one or a bit distracted. He has solid numbers and PGATour.com has him ranked 3rd in their Masters Power Rankings. Still, I see a no better than a 10th place finish for Rahm… Justin Thomas is ranked 2nd in their Power Ranking for this event, but he is just 109th in SG: Off-The-Tee and he has just one top-five finish here at Augusta. He will be in the mix, but come up just a bit short… Patrick Cantlay could be an intriguing play. He has finished 18th or better in seven of his last eight events overall and he has a 9th and 17th place finish the last two years at Augusta. Cantlay is also 51st or better in the top five statistical categories for this course.
Sungjae Im will be my longshot at +5000. Last year was the first season that Sungjae played in the Masters and all he did was finish 2nd. He is 6th in SG: Off-The-Tee, 27th in SG: Putting, and 50th in SG: Tee-To-Green. Sungjae is also 8th in driving accuracy and 31st in greens in regulation. Do not sleep on Sungjae Im.
Tournament Matchup - Bryson Dechambeau -122 over Rory McIlroy
Tournament Matchup - Patrick Cantlay -122 over Tony Finau
Tournament Matchup - Duston Johnson -1.5 (+108) over Rory McIlroy
Top 5 Finish - Brooks Koepka +600
Top 10 Finish - Paulk Casey +300
Miss The Cut - Lee Westwood +215